TAJI, Iraq - As Iraqi Army and Coalition partners looked on, roughly 600 Iraqi Army Sustainers of the General Transportation Regiment graduated from training in a ceremony here Oct. 23.

The GTR graduation was another step in a growing partnership between the regiment's Soldiers and leaders and their mentors from the 1st Sustainment Brigade's 68th Transportation Company. The Mannheim-based 68th Trans. Co. has spent the past two months training and mentoring the new unit.

"The purpose of GTR will be to push critical supplies from the ports of embarkation such as the seaport, airport and neighboring countries and push them to the Taji National Depot on Camp Taji," said Capt. Donna Johnson, a Columbus, Ohio, native, and the commander of the 68th Trans. Co., who now serves as the Logistics Training Assessment Team officer in charge for the GTR. "From there they transport equipment to the 12 location commands all over Iraq, which means the GTR has a huge role in getting the supplies distributed throughout the Iraqi theater of operations."

With a number of dignitaries in attendance, the unit conducted a parade, demonstrated its skills and was inspected by Iraqi Maj. Gen. Kassim, the Director of Transportation and Provision for the Ministry of Defense.

After graduation, the GTR will assume an important mission leading towards Iraqi Army self-sustainment. On the ground since September 1, the GTR is the first unit of its kind to provide the assets and manpower needed to distribute all classes of supplies to location commands positioned throughout Iraq.

"We will transport supplies, vehicle parts from the border of Jordan, Syria and Kuwait or any border to the Depot here on Taji for distribution to Iraqi Army location commands," said Col. Muhammad, the commander of the GTR. "The mission is to improve the movement of supplies, parts and troops needed to help sustain the Soldiers of the Iraqi Army."